The Netherlands

The Sharpshooting of Street Artists In Amsterdam : DosJotas

Cities and municipalities around the globe have no cohesive opinion or set of organized practices in response to Street Art.  Heated rhetoric and strict criminal proceedings in one city contrasts sharply with a laissez faire or even loving embrace in another.  Terminology in one city may lump all artistic expression together with vandalism while another carefully makes distinctions between categories such as vandalism, sanctioned, graffiti, street art, and others.


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)

While one city has on-the-spot buffers and power spray washers and special  authorities on the lookout for even a sticker, others are sponsoring projects and setting aside walls or neighborhoods specifically for the growing interest and expression in what they consider a peoples art movement.  Some are even rushing to preserve certain Street Art works as important landmarks. Among the contributing factors that determine how a city responds to the occurrence of graffiti and/or Street Art include cultural attitudes, class issues, relative wealth, historical attitudes, the ebb and flow of public opinion, the educational system, the influence of business and arts constituencies, and even the potential for one to make political hay.  In between the extremes are a patchwork of options including, of course, the indifferent.


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)

Some times the cat and mouse game in the mind of a street artist can become quite intense and storied. DosJotas is a Spanish Street Artist residing in Amsterdam who has been exploring with his art the relationship between the government and their Street Artists. With his installation titled “Street Wars in Amsterdam” he depicts the relationship in blunt warlike terms, with the power and military might far overshadowing the unarmed aerosol spraying individual. Using plain black stickers cut out as silhouettes, DosJotas portrays a very stark and severely unbalanced use of violent force brought to bear – helicopters, drones, sharpshooters – all allied to blow away the wheat paster or man with a can.

Dude, watch out in Amsterdam, they’ll crush you with a tank. No lie.


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)

Of course, we know (or sincerely hope) the scenes are a metaphor, an exaggeration intended to illustrate. Looking at a description of the project from the artist, we’re thinking there are no snipers on the roof, but that it is a commentary on a more pervasive cleansing of public space that the artist is reacting to;

“To speak of weapons is not to strictly speak of pistols, machine guns or tanks; but of strategies.

The streets have become controlled and tamed by the architects, politicians and businessmen, where any expression contrary to power is censored or criminalized.

A spray, a poster, a stencil or a sticker, may be the best weapons in a city. All subversive and illegal acts performed in public spaces are a defense of public spaces.”

~ DosJotas


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)


DosJotas “Street Wars in Amsterdam” (photo © Courtesy of the artist)

Visit DosJotas site for more on his art:

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ArTicks Gallery Presents: Blade “The King’s New Line” (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


26 June – July 14, 2011

Blade ‘The King of Graffiti’ returns to Amsterdam for a triple event in his honor. Starting at ArTicks Gallery with the exhibition of Blade’s newest collection of artworks on canvas. Then a presentation at 5-Elementz by the king himself, showing and telling about the 70’s graffiti scene and the old ‘lines’ of the New York subway that he use to rule. After an autograph signing and meeting opportunity, the last part of the trilogy will take place at Cafe Batavia 1920 where the king and subjects can feast on NYC style hotdogs and drinks. During the day you are welcomed at the Utopia Hotel to relax with some fresh Blade Haze. While there you will find a few paintings on the wall by Recal.

Opening Exhibition Sunday 26th of June

13:00 – 19:00 Art Exhibition

ArtickS Gallery
Singel 88
1015-AD Amsterdam
the Netherlands

Email: info (@)
Phone: +31 (0)20 737 1505

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Derek Dipietro Re-Imagines C215

College student Derek Dipietro fell for some stencils by French Street Artist C215 on his recent trip to Amsterdam. The stenciled images are most likely of people who live in the area, as C215 likes to photograph neighborhoods’ residents, frequently the marginalized among them.  The artist considers his stencils to be a gift to the community, and a way for a locality to retain its individual character. Dipietro was so impressed by what he found that he began to play with and alter his photos using image software called Aperture, and in the process began to create new interpretations.

brooklyn-street-art-c215-derek-Dipietro-amsterdam-3-webDerek’s orginal photo of some stencils by Street Artist C215. Below are two re-interpretations of the boy stencil he made using Aperture. (photo © Derek Dipietro)

From working with C215 to create his most recent monograph, we know that the artist encourages photographers to interpret his work in any way they wish, so he no doubt would be pleased to see this youth from North Carolina State University learning how to tweak photos of his work.  Since we like to celebrate the creative spirit, we’re excited anytime somebody wants to share his or her creations too.


C215 (photo © Derek Dipietro)

It’s also part of technological and cultural literacy for us all to understand the new tools that are employed to alter imagery throughout the world today, and to appreciate and respect the power that we all wield with creative mouse clicking. Similarly, we have to consider our responsibility to attribute authorship and how to protect it, and when. In the wrong hands, an artist’s work can be abused or appropriated for profit, which is where the grey areas get defined.

Keep up your studies Derek and thanks for sharing your work and your interpretations of the work of C215.


C215 (photo © Derek Dipietro)


Dipietro’s original photo above and his re-interpretation of the image below.  (photo © Derek Dipietro)


C215 (photo © Derek Dipietro)


Derek also sent this photo of a house he took in Santa Cruz, CA. By using the same process he used for the C215 images, the house is quickly transformed. © Derek Dipietro

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